Page images


So Scotia's Queen, as slowly dawn'd the day, " Rose on her couch, and gaz'd her soul away.

Her eyes had bless'd the beacon's glimmering height,

That faintly tipt the feathery surge with light;

But now the morn with orient hues pourtray'd

Each castled cliff, and brown monastic shade:

All touch'd the talisman's resistless spring,

And lo, what busy tribes were instant on the wing! Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire,

As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire.

And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth,

Warm as the life, and with the mirror's truth.

Hence home-felt pleasure prompts the Patriot's sigh; f

This makes him wish to live, and dare to die.

For this FOSCARI, whose relentless fate

Venice should blush to hear the Muse relate,

When exile wore his blooming years away,

To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey,

When reason, justice, vainly urg'd his cause,
For this he rous'd her sanguinary laws;

Glad to return, tho' Hope could grant no more,
And chains and torture hail'd him to the shore.

And hence the charm historic scenes impart:

Hence Tiber awes, and Avon melts the heart.

Aërial forms, in Tempe's classic vale,

Glance thro' the gloom, and whisper in the gale;

In wild Vaucluse with love and LAURA dwell,

And watch and weep in ELOISA's cell. h 'Twas ever thus. As now at VIRGIL's tomb, '

We bless the shade, and bid the verdure bloom: So TULLY paus'd, amid the wrecks of Time, k On the rude stone to trace the truth sublime;

When at his feet, in honour'd dust disclos'd,

The immortal Sage of Syracuse repos'd.

And as his youth in sweet delusion hung,

Where once a PLATO taught, a PINDAR sung;

Who now but meets him musing, when he roves His ruin'd Tusculan's romantic groves?

In Rome's great forum, who but hears him roll

[blocks in formation]

And the lost friend still lingers in his shade!

Say why the pensive widow loves to weep,1
When on her knee she rocks her babe to sleep:

Tremblingly still, she lifts his veil to trace

The father's features in his infant face.

The hoary grandsire smiles the hour away,

Won by the charm of Innocence at play;

He bends to meet each artless burst of joy,

Forgets his age, and acts again the boy.

What tho' the iron school of War erase

Each milder virtue, and each softer grace;
What tho' the fiend's torpedo-touch arrest
Each gentler, finer impulse of the breast;
Still shall this active principle preside,

And wake the tear to Pity's self denied.

The intrepid Swiss, that guards a foreign shore,

Condemn'd to climb his mountain-cliffs no more, If chance he hears the song so sweetly wild m

Which on those cliffs his infant hours beguil'd,

Melts at the long-lost scenes that round him rise, And sinks a martyr to repentant sighs.

Ask not if courts or camps dissolve the charm:

Say why VESPASIAN lov'd his Sabine farm; "

Why great NAVARRE, when France and freedom bled,

Sought the lone limits of a forest-shed.

When DIOCLETIAN's self-corrected mind P

The imperial fasces of a world resign'd,

Say why we trace the labours of his spade,

In calm Salona's philosophic shade.

Say, when ambitious CHARLES renounc'd a throne,

To muse with monks unletter'd and unknown,

What from his soul the parting tribute drew?

What claim'd the sorrows of a last adieu?

The still retreats that sooth'd his tranquil breast,

Ere grandeur dazzled, and its cares oppress'd.

Undamp'd by time, the generous Instinct glows

Far as Angola's sands, as Zembla's snows;

« PreviousContinue »